Readout of the President’s Briefing on Response and Recovery Efforts
Today, aboard Air Force One, the President convened a call with members of his Cabinet, state and local officials from affected areas, and other senior members of his team to receive a briefing on ongoing response and recovery efforts. On the call the President received an update from the National Weather Service on severe weather that could be moving into the affected region in the coming days. He also heard from Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano and FEMA Administrator Fugate on latest efforts to meet the continuing power and fuel challenges, as well as ongoing work in support of Governors and their teams to develop long term housing solutions for affected families.
On the call the President was joined by Governor Cuomo, Governor Malloy, Mayors and Borough Presidents from affected areas, and heard directly about potential challenges they may see as the recovery continues. The President also spoke directly to Governor Christie by phone earlier in the day. The President made clear that he expected his team to continue to make sure all available resources were being deployed effectively and asked the state and local partners to make sure they continue to raise any concerns or problems they face that federal partners could help address. The President also expressed his concern for the potential severe weather in the area over the coming days, and directed his team to provide any additional support available to state and local partners as they work to ensure affected communities are prepared ahead of the severe weather.
The President will continue to receive updates overnight, and tomorrow morning will receive a briefing by phone from Secretary Napolitano, Administrator Fugate, Chief of Staff Jack Lew, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security John Brennan, and other senior members of his team on response activities as well as an update on efforts to support preparations in the region ahead of the severe weather.
Earlier today, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, and Secretary Napolitano traveled to the affected region.
Secretary Solis met with business owners, volunteers, and affected individuals and saw recovery efforts in Brooklyn, Queens and other areas across New York. Secretary Chu met with state and local leaders and industry officials to discuss ongoing response and recovery efforts to Hurricane Sandy. Secretary Napolitano visited Staten Island, Brooklyn and Queens, NY where she met with state and local officials, first responders and volunteers to discuss ongoing response and recovery efforts to Hurricane Sandy. The Secretary also announced that DHS and FEMA would provide Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York with additional funding to further expedite debris removal efforts in the communities impacted by Hurricane Sandy.
Tomorrow, Secretary Napolitano will again travel to the region to hold meetings and view response activities in New York. Additional details about Secretary Napolitano's trip to New York tomorrow will be released when they are available.